Travellers are cottoning on to the importance of insurance

A millenial purchasing travel insurance

Some good news for travel insurers … it seems travellers are finally wising up to the importance of travel insurance, with a spike in travel insurance purchases anticipated in 2020. And it’s about time too!

This is according to the findings of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP)’s fifth annual State of Travel Insurance survey. It was conducted in August 2019 and includes responses from 7,292 travellers.

A key finding was that 23 per cent of travellers intend to buy travel insurance more frequently in 2020 than they did in 2019. This might not sound like a high percentage, but intent to purchase was far lower last year, at 14 per cent.

71 per cent of millennials said that they plan to buy more travel insurance next year

And when we look at the millennial demographic, the findings are even more encouraging: 71 per cent of millennials said that they plan to buy more travel insurance next year.

So why are travellers becoming keener to make travel insurance a necessity? Millennials believe travel insurance can save them time and money when travel doesn’t quite go as planned; and they’d be right! They said that they are most afraid of epidemics and terrorism while travelling (46 per cent), while 69 per cent said that they plan on doing something dangerous so they can post a picture on social media ─ not quite the reasoning one would have hoped, but if they plan to do this regardless, having travel insurance is infinitely better than not! “It says a lot about Millennials who by and large indicated an appetite to take risks while traveling yet are showing they are savvy enough to protect themselves with travel insurance,” said Dean Sivley, President of BHTP.

The survey also found that millennials are spending a lot of money on travel, particularly millennials with kids. Indeed, 85 per cent of millennials with children spent more than US$5,000 on travel in 2019 while almost 58 per cent of millennials with children spend more than $10,000.

Further survey findings include that travellers see ride share services such as Uber as less safe than other means of transport and that the top perceived threat to travel is international terrorism, followed by disease outbreaks and safety concerns at their destination. In addition, those who frequently purchase travel insurance said that they want a more tech-driven, customisable travel insurance experience; a desire that can be met given that tech is becoming increasingly prevalent in the industry. You can read more about that in our feature here.

Overall, some very encouraging findings for the industry. It will be interesting to see what further developments 2020 brings.